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Sebastian Seung's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Sebastian Seung recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Sebastian Seung's favorite book recommendations of all time.

A pioneering book proposing a transhumanist vision of the future, from one of the most influential visionary scientists of the twentieth century. less
Recommended by Sebastian Seung, and 1 others.

Sebastian SeungJD Bernal was an Irish crystallographer who wrote this book in 1929. He was contemporaries with people like Aldous Huxley, who wrote Brave New World at around the same time. Clearly biology had progressed to a point where people were thinking about the future of human society, and how it could be affected by biology and biotechnology. Bernal wrote this book to talk about human history. (Source)

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Portraits of the Mind follows the fascinating history of our exploration of the brain through images, from medieval sketches and 19th-century drawings by the founder of modern neuroscience to images produced using state-of-the-art techniques, allowing us to see the fantastic networks in the brain as never before. These black-and-white and vibrantly colored images, many resembling abstract art, are employed daily by scientists around the world, but most have never before been seen by the general public. Each chapter addresses a different set of techniques for studying the brain as... more
Recommended by Sebastian Seung, Tanya Byron, and 2 others.

Sebastian SeungThis is a picture storybook about the brain, which sounds really mad. It is such an engaging book because the brain is so fascinating – but people are quite often scared to think about it. (Source)

Tanya ByronIf you want to see the images of the brain which have been so important for science, Portraits of the Mind is a wonderful resource. (Source)

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Our minds are working all the time, but we rarely stop to think about how they work. The human mind has many different ways to think, says Marvin Minsky, the leading figure in artificial intelligence and computer science. We use these different ways of thinking in different circumstances, and some of them we don't even associate with thinking. For example, emotions, intuitions, and feelings are just other forms of thinking, according to Minsky. In his groundbreaking new work, "The Emotion Machine," Minsky shows why we should expand our ideas about thinking and how thinking itself might change... more
Recommended by Sebastian Seung, and 1 others.

Sebastian SeungMarvin Minsky is famous as one of the fathers of artificial intelligence. The Emotion Machine is a summation of his lifetime of thinking about how the brain works. It is written somewhat as a computer scientist but also as a philosopher and psychologist. He’s a brilliant thinker and a brilliant writer. Most people will not know that he actually started out as a neuroscientist. But he gave up on... (Source)

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Part travelogue, part memoir, part history, part biography, and part meditation - one of the most unique road trips in modern literature.

Albert Einstein's brain floats in formaldehyde in a Tupperware® bowl in a gray duffel bag in the trunk of a Buick Skylark barreling across America. Driving the car is Michael Paterniti, a young journalist from Maine. Sitting next to him is an eighty-four-year-old pathologist named Thomas Harvey who performed the autopsy on Einstein in 1955--and simply removed the brain and took it home. And kept it for over forty years.

On a cold...
Recommended by Sebastian Seung, and 1 others.

Sebastian SeungThis is a fun book by a journalist, describing his adventures driving across America with pieces of Einstein’s brain in the trunk of his car. Einstein’s brain was stolen after he died by Thomas Harvey, the pathologist who performed the autopsy and then absconded with the brain. There is a long tradition of studying the brains of geniuses, especially in the 19th century. Of course it was natural,... (Source)

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Mind and Body

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and...
Recommended by Sebastian Seung, and 1 others.

Sebastian SeungThis is an obscure reference that most neuroscientists or philosophers will not be familiar with. But it is historically a very important book because Bain is probably the first connectionist. By that I mean the doctrine of connectionism that you have been alluding to, which is that the connections of the brain are extremely important for its functioning. As far as I can tell, he was the first... (Source)

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